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House GOP releases new lines for state’s congressional districts

Briana Bierschbach//May 9, 2011

House GOP releases new lines for state’s congressional districts

Briana Bierschbach//May 9, 2011

Rep. Sarah Anderson
Rep. Sarah Anderson

The long-awaited GOP map reshaping the state’s congressional districts was released Monday, and shows Republicans trying to protect newest House GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack while isolating other DFL strongholds.

The map draws three congressional districts — the northernmost 7th and 8th districts and southernmost 1st district — horizontally, reaching from one side of the state to the other.  The map also keeps Minneapolis and St. Paul in separate districts, despite earlier conjecture that Republicans would try to group the DFL-led areas together.

Former Democratic state Sen. Tarryl Clark announced she plans to run against Cravaack in the 8th Congressional District. But by the GOP’s map, she would be pitted against current DFL U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, whose hometown was redrawn into the northernmost district in the state. Cravaack’s home turf lands in the 7th Congressional District on the new map, which pulls in more conservative areas in the central part of the state and leaves out the DFL-strong Iron Range.

The 6th Congressional District, represented by potential GOP presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann, would largely retain its current shape under the plan.

The House passed its legislative redistricting plan off of the floor on Friday, and Redistricting Chair Sarah Anderson plans to take up a hearing on the congressional plan on Tuesday this week. Senate Redistricting Chair Geoff Michel will release his legislative redistricting plan on Tuesday.

The plan is all but certain to head to the courts, as it has for the last several decades, with a party split between the GOP-controlled Legislature and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton. Dayton has said he will not support a plan that doesn’t have bipartisan support.

See the map lines here.

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